Atlantic City breaks ground on Pop Lloyd Stadium renovation project

Atlantic City’s iconic Pop Lloyd Stadium is undergoing a renovation that will see it transition from solely a baseball field into a multipurpose sports hub for Atlantic City youth and the entire community.

On Monday, Atlantic City Mayor Small Sr. was joined by those involved in the $5.6 million renovation project, along with longtime Atlantic City residents, to officially break ground on construction.

Highlights of the new and improved stadium include beautiful artificial blue turf and brand-new dugouts, locker rooms, bleachers, restrooms, lighting, fencing and a scoreboard. In addition to baseball, softball and T-ball, the new Pop Lloyd Stadium field will be utilized for football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and other sports and activities. Pergolas will be added for community use outside the recreation leagues. The contractor for the project is Atlantic City-based Weatherby Construction Co.

“Pop Lloyd Stadium has been in disrepair for quite some time, but we are turning it back into the treasure it was once,” Small said. “My vision is to not only keep the integrity of this historic baseball field, which is a fabric of Atlantic City’s past, but to turn it into a multisport complex our future generations can enjoy for decades to come. It takes a village to get a project like this off the ground, and a lot of individuals within our city departments stepped up to make sure my vision comes to light.”

“Pop Lloyd Stadium has been abandoned to some extent since the 1990s, and my department was charged with helping to bring it back to life,” Atlantic City Planning and Development Director Jacques Howard said. “Maintaining the legacy of this field, which has become iconic to Atlantic City, is our mission, and we were elated to find out, through a study, the structure of this facility could be preserved.”

“This project will create new opportunities for Atlantic City youth and adults, while exposing our youth to new sports,” Atlantic City Recreation Director Mike Griffin said. “We want to bring back the experience I had as a kid in Atlantic City of when you walk by Pop Lloyd Stadium, something was always happening. Atlantic City Recreation saved my life when I was younger, and this new field will go a long way in making sure we can have a similar impact on today’s youth.”

Construction on the renovation project is anticipated to conclude this fall. The city plans to begin fully utilizing the new Pop Lloyd Stadium in time for the start of the Spring 2025 sports season. Funding for the project comes from the American Rescue Plan ($4 million) and 2022 Supplemental Transitional Aid ($1 million). The state of New Jersey also approved an additional $601,450 of ARP funding. The new field will be managed by the Recreation Division, who will be responsible for the schedule of events and programs.

Pop Lloyd Stadium was built in the late 1940s and named after Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and Negro League star shortstop John Henry “Pop” Lloyd, who played baseball, lived and worked in Atlantic City.